MFW S/S '11 Report: MaxMara

26 September 2010

It’s a tough call for a house that majors in great coats to measure up for summer. The challenge has defeated some of the best this season already. But MaxMara has followed a hit winter collection with a strong summer one.
The manufacture of coats is a process that concentrates the mind of the Research & Development departments. Here is where the application of new fabric technology separates the men from the boys. It’s all very well to be able to cut a great looking trench coat. But can you make it warm and waterproof while preserving a line that is big on attitude, not bulk. Got that? Okay, now do it so it is light enough but still sharp to cut it as the mercury rises.
It’s a fashion conjuring trick that MaxMara seemed to pull off with comparative ease. The trench was a key piece. Worked in white paper-leather it was light and fluid enough to pass for a coat dress in spite of coming with full regalia of storm flaps, collar straps and buckled belt. A semi transparent version looked glamorous, roomy enough to wear over a full look underneath and light enough to pack down to pocket size. For all of us drenched in unexpected torrential Italian rain it was an instant must-have. A short A-line version had a sporty youthful energy over narrow kick-flared trousers.
A hit of head-to-toe colour blocking came in a series of strong primary and fluorescent brights featuring the trench in canary satin, a plum satin pea coat and sunshine yellow A -line tunic over skinny pants.
Be prepared next summer to simplify your look. Two easy pieces seem to  be the guiding principle: so work your favourite jacket shape (be it a figure-skimming tailored version or more of an A-line tunic) or simple silk shirt with shorts or (increasingly) wide trousers. Then pick your favourite colour and make a major statement with it. You are good to go.

- Paula Reed in Milan


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